Letter: Yamada is the best choice to be our next State Senator

Mariko YamadaBy Sam Warren

Mariko Yamada is the best choice to be our next State Senator. I’ve been volunteering my weekends for Mariko because I believe she’ll stand up for California families.

Mariko’s got backbone. The daughter of Japanese internment survivors, she grew up attending inner-city public schools and became the first in her family to graduate college. She knows the importance of a good education, which is why she’ll stand by California schools and make sure our students have what they need to succeed.

Mariko does what’s right, not what’s easy. As a career social worker, Mariko knows firsthand the hardships that working families face. She’ll fight for seniors, students, and veterans with all the courage of her convictions.

A great example of Mariko’s leadership in action is her support for fair overtime pay for farmworkers. Until this year, California farmworkers had a 10-hour workday—while most anyone else who works an hourly job has an eight-hour workday. This dates back to the first 1930s overtime bill: Lawmakers didn’t want to raise the wages of mostly black and Latino farmworkers, so they cut them out of the bill.

To change this shameful situation, Mariko joined farmworkers in a hunger strike on the front steps of the Capitol—standing with some of our state’s hardest-working families.

Then when her opponent in the State Senate race, Bill Dodd, voted against granting fair overtime pay to farmworkers, Mariko challenged him to join her to work in the fields for a day. (I hope I have that sort of spirit when I’m 66.)

Bill ignored the invitation. Then he jetted off to hold a fundraiser in Newport Beach, on a yacht named—wait for it—“Real Overtime.” $2,000 a ticket.

No wonder Chevron, Monsanto, Philip Morris Tobacco and other corporate interests have shelled out $4 million and counting for Bill Dodd. You can say that’s just how politics is, but it’s not how politics should be. It’s not politics the way Mariko does it, either.

That’s why I’m supporting Mariko—and why she’s supported by Congressman John Garamendi, labor leader Dolores Huerta, and California teachers, nurses, and law enforcement officers.

Join me in voting for Mariko Yamada for State Senate on Nov. 8, and we’ll elect a true advocate for working families.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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